Edisoto to Meet Calhoun County in Midland Showdown

The game of the week in the Midlands showcase two 2A looking for big thing in 2002.

ST. MATTHEWS -- At the rate things are going, playing quarterback for the 2002 Calhoun County Saint varsity football team will soon be listed as one of the most dangerous jobs in America.


That's assuming, of course, there will be enough bodies on the team to keep filling the void for first-year head coach James Stokes. Stokes has lost four signal-callers in succession during the last four weeks, just in time for the beginning of the competitive squad's region slate. Starter number one, Everett Martin, fell to a season-ending knee injury; as did starter number two, Darren "Boochie" Ben -- who will also be lost for his senior basketball season.


That was before starter number three, DeMario Brown, broke his ankle, making way for either freshman Calvin Bulloch or senior stand-out Brittian Thompson to takeover the reigns as the team begins defense of its 2001 Region 4-AA title at home against the rival Edisto Cougars tomorrow night in St. Matthews.


"I've never seen anything like this in all my years of coaching," Stokes said during a sweltering practice on Wednesday afternoon. "The thing about football, and this is what I tell these guys all the time, is that it resembles life. In life you'll come across situations that'll seem insurmountable, but you have to make those adjustments and keep on going. The last three Friday's I've lost a quarterback, but we've won the football game. We're resilient and we're going to keep on doing what we've been doing to put these guys in position to win."


Both the Saints -- ranked ninth in the latest Associated Press Poll - and the third-ranked Cougars come in at 4-1. Calhoun County eventually put away a scrappy Bowman Mohawk squad 30-6, while Edisto dropped arch-rival Bamberg-Ehrhardt 35-12.


The Saints defeated the Cougars 18-7 in Cordova in the final game of the season in 2001 with the region title on the line. The last time the game was played in St. Matthews, Edisto dominated from start to finish with a 22-0 shutout on Saint "Senior Night".


Cougar head coach Andy Palmer said that his squad has had this game in the back of their minds since last October. "It means a lot to us to play them because we're coming off of a loss to them at home we've told our guys that if they want to be region champs we have some work to do because we have to go beat Calhoun County in St. Matthews. The combination of it being a region game and a rival game does add some significance to it. Coming into region we feel like we've played quality competition and we feel that we've played pretty well. We're playing the defending region champ and we still feel like we have something to prove. We're getting the team as prepared as we can to go over and do what we need to do."


The two teams have met one already this season for a half, in the pre-season Region 4-AA Jamboree. During that competition (won narrowly by Edisto) Palmer said his players were re-introduced to the long-time rivalry all over again.


"You learn that there's still a rivalry there and that t

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